Ollie nathan sophie beth presentation (powerpoint on TV dramas)
CONVENTIONS IN TV
OLLIE NATHAN SOPHIE BETH
TV drama mainly looks at four different aspects of life. These are Crime
drama, medical drama, costume drama, and soap operas.
Genre refers to the form of setting in which a peace
of music, film, art etc. can fall into. It defines the
composition, as in music or literature, characterized
by similarities on form, style or subject matter.
A sub-genre is a sub category in a particular genre,
for example, in TV crime-dramas, the genre would be
drama and the sub-genre would be crime.
CONVENTIONS OF TV CRIME DRAMAS
A TV crime drama will be identified and portrayed in a certain
way, so that the viewer will immediately recognise the category
in which this TV drama falls into (crime). The conventions that
are essential in creating a convincing crime drama are:
Character types, Setting, Narrative, Style, Themes.
Crime dramas can focus on many different people within or
outside of the law. For example Police, lawyers, criminals, a
team of detectives, or even a vigilante.
TV CRIME DRAMAS
Long drawn out TV crime drama will likely have many sub-plots,
in which characters will from friendships or become enemy’s.
Here are some of the key elements to a crime Drama:
• A mystery/problem that needs to be solved
• The resolution to a mystery/problem
• Question or morality
• Debates about innocence and guilt
• Conflict between modes of policing
• Different characteristics of villainy
TODOROV’S NARRATIVE THEORY
TV crime drama follows Todorov’s theory. He believed that the
formula for most dramas/story’s started with little action at the
equilibrium, then comes the disruption of the equilibrium by
some action. Next he believed there needed to be recognition
of the disruption and after this an attempt to repair the
disruption. Finally a reinstatement of the equilibrium.
However as often can be seen in TV Crime dramas, you can be
left on a cliff hanger which goes against Todorov’s theory.
MEDICAL TV DRAMA
Conventions of a Medical TV Drama:
• Usually set in a hospital or a doctors which is
the point of interaction (where everything
• The characters often witness horrific events,
due to it being set in a hospital there is
usually a lot of blood and gore.
• Similar to a Soap Opera but a Medical TV
Drama is believed to be more educational
by using more medical terms and showing
what it is like to work in a hospital in a way,
but it is more dramatized. (It relates to soap
operas in the way that there are usually 2
doctors that fall in love and there are usually
tensions and arguments between doctors.)
MEDICAL TV DRAMA
• Medical dramas can also be similar to
crime dramas as often doctors get
police involved as they realize an
accident is always quite an accident
or they realize the reason someone is
in hospital is because of their own
• Medical TV Dramas always hold
emotional or life changing moments to
a doctor or patients life e.g. a patient
• In most TV soap operas there are certain aspects of them
that are the same, for example, A British soap opera almost
always features the following conventions:
• It is a serialized drama that usually runs week-in, week-out,
all year round.
• It features continuous storylines dealing with domestic
themes and personal or family relationships.
• It generally has a well-known theme tune.
• Small cast, allows more screen time for each character.
• The plots are open-ended and usually many storylines are
featured or even interlinked in an episode.
• They are often set around a small, central area such as a
square (as in EastEnders).
• Soaps often have special episodes for events in the real world
such as Christmas or the Millennium.
• British soaps most often feature common, ordinary, working class
characters, reflecting the preferences of the target audience.
• As a rule, British soaps are realistic or, at least, aim for realism.
• Soap operas usually end on a cliff hanger with a close up
reaction shot of someone's face and the next episode will usually
begin on this shot too.
• Three, four or even five storylines will be in progress during any
one episode, with the action switching between them. As one
narrative is resolved, another completely different one with
different characters will already be underway.
CONVENTIONS OF COSTUME:
• Costume/period drama’s are often adaptations of a
famous 'classic' novel or play but can also be original
• They dramatize different points in history and can be
quite different from contemporary dramas.
• This type of drama is normally part of a series.
• These drama’s are old fashion/can be set in tutor times
• A typical period drama is set in a large country mansion